Summary: A Christian perspective on Death.
Teddy Roosevelt said that "...both life and death are parts of the same Great Adventure." I will like to focus on the word thanatos, today. More on the spiritual death rather than the physical which this word can also mean.
For you see according to Vine’s Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words, Thanatos means one of two things 1) "the separation of the soul (the spiritual part of man) from the body (the material part)" or 2) "the separation of man from God." The first being the physical death and the second being the spiritual death leading to damnation. "O! what pains do men take to get to hell! Early and late they toil at sin; and would not Divine justice be in their debt, if it did not pay them their due wages?"
Thanatos carries with it the implication of the expulsion of man from God’s perfection "For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.)" (Romans. 5:17). "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life..." (John 5:24).
Both the reference from Romans and the Gospel reference say that there is more to death than an end. What a great hope that we have in that day that we can understand that there is more to death than an end for the believer.
Vine’s says that “Death, in whichever sense it is used, is always, in Scripture, viewed as the penal consequence of sin, and since sinners alone are subject to death,
Rom. 5:12, it was as the Bearer of sin that the Lord Jesus submitted thereto on the Cross, 1 Pet. 2:24. And while the physical death of the Lord Jesus was of the essence of His sacrifice, it was not the whole. The darkness symbolized, and His cry expressed, the fact that He was left alone in the Universe, He was ‘forsaken;’ cf. Matt. 27:45-46.”
The reality of death for the unbeliever is as Alexander Smith said, "Your death and my death are mainly of importance to ourselves. The black plumes will be stripped off our hearses within the hour; tears will dry, hurt hearts close again, our graves grow level with the church-yard, and although we are away, the world wags on. It does not miss us, and those who are near us, when the first strangeness of vacancy wears off, will not miss us much either." For the unbeliever it is the end for the body, but for the Christian, the soul lives on. We all know that as Christians, we should not miss our loved ones anyway for we will one day be reunited in the hereafter. That is not to say we should not grieve as that is the natural way, but we should not miss them.
When my grandfather died, I grieved for a while as was natural for those who have lost one truly close to them. However, I soon realized that sooner than I realized I would be with my grandfather and he with me. We would be praising God and singing
hymns to the risen creator. This helped me to truly "get-over" my pain and grief from my lost loved one.